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Enabling Users to Act on LOB Data with Business Data Catalog Actions

Summary: Learn how to enable your users to act on line-of-business data by using Business Data Catalog Actions.

Office Visual How To

Applies to: 2007 Microsoft Office System, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

John Peltonen, 3Sharp

May 2007


The Business Data Catalog allows you to make Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 aware of your line-of-business (LOB) data. The Business Data Catalog exposes the data as read-only entities. However, users frequently need to act on, as well as look at, the exposed data. To help facilitate this, the Business Data Catalog provides Actions—parameterized URLs—in which the parameters are references to the various fields of the entity.

Code It

This Visual How To is designed to be used in conjunction with the Business Data Catalog metadata file created in Creating Business Data Catalog Entities in SharePoint Server 2007. If you do not have that metadata file handy, download it now. The following steps show you how to use Actions to enable your users to act on your LOB data.

To add the Sales Order entity to the metadata file

To increment the version number of the LOBSystem root element

  • Office SharePoint Server prevents you from uploading an instance of the metadata file that is equal to or less than the version that is currently loaded. If you have a version of this metadata file loaded from a previous Visual How To, you must increase the version of this file to be able to upload it.

To save and upload the completed metadata file into the Business Data Catalog shared service

  1. Save the file.

  2. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office Server, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration to open the SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration Web page.

  3. Click your Shared Services Provider (usually named SharedServices1) in the left navigation bar.

  4. In the Business Data Catalog section, click Import application definition.

  5. Click Browse, navigate to the saved Business Data Catalog metadata file, and then double-click it.

  6. Keep the default values for all other application definition settings, and then click Import.

To add a Business Data List Web Part to your site and send an e-mail Message

  1. Add a new Business Data Web Part to your SharePoint site and associate it with the Customer Entity that you have defined.

  2. In the drop-down list by the Customer name, click Email Customer.

Read It

Business data entities are read-only. However, developers and administrators can still allow users to take action on Business Data Catalog data by using parameterized URLs, also known as business data Actions, to link entities to other forms of business logic hosted on the Web site. In our example, we sent an e-mail message by using a simple mailto: link. However, a more typical scenario would be to create a link to either a Web-hosted Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 form or to a custom ASPX page.

See It Enabling Users to Act on LOB Data with BDC

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